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Your learning experience

We believe that learning is a two-way, collaborative process, guided by the experience of the lecturer.

You'll benefit from hands-on learning with artefacts in our on-site museum, and opportunities to gain practical experience that will prepare you for careers in teaching, museums and beyond.

students on a trip

Studying in the Department of Classics

Watch Chloe discuss her experience of doing a placement with the Ure Museum

Our teaching methods

Through our varied teaching approach, we'll support you to follow your passion for classics and develop strong transferable skills such as critical thinking, adaptability and diligence.

Lectures and seminars

You will learn mainly through lectures and interactive seminars, with the opportunity to discuss, debate and advance your own theories with academics and fellow students.

Independent study

Explore a broad range of literary texts and open your mind to different perspectives on the ancient world. In essay assignments you'll develop your written communication skills and explore your own ideas.

In your final year, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a research topic entirely of your choosing on the dissertation module.


You'll meet your academic tutor, who will provide one-to-one support, throughout your degree. You'll also be supervised by a specialist in your chosen subject during your third-year dissertation. 

Research skills training

We train you to become a researcher so you can thrive during your degree and your future career.

We equip you with skills such as how to present in a range of contexts, process and analyse large amounts of data, write cohesively, and work collaboratively. 

Hands-on learning

You'll access resources of international importance during your studies, allowing you to gain a material understanding of life in the ancient world.

These resources include our own museum of ancient artefacts, the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology.

Peer assisted learning

You can opt to participate in our Peer Assisted Learning scheme (PAL), which groups you with trained students, typically from the year above, to consolidate your learning. 

The purpose of the PAL scheme is to help first-year students consolidate their learning from lectures, in a smaller, more informal classroom setting. I really enjoyed this scheme – it allowed me to get to know our first-year students, and gave me an insight into teaching.

Rebeca Bird-Lima

BA Ancient History graduate

Practical learning that prepares you for the workplace

We offer a variety of voluntary, work experience and placement opportunities to enhance your understanding of the world of classics, and prepare for your future. You'll test your knowledge in real situations, sharpening your understanding of your own subject and gaining invaluable communication and organisational skills.  

Employability module

We offer a dedicated module that encourages you to focus on what career you might like to pursue.

In the module Prospects for Classicists and Ancient Historians you will reflect on the degree, its prospects and the place of the discipline in the modern world. You'll also develop learning strategies for Years 2 and 3 to aid with specific skill acquisition and employability in given sectors.

Work in the Ure Museum

The Ure Museum provides plentiful work experience opportunities if you aspire to a career in the museum or heritage sector. Roles typically involve cataloguing items, improving online databases, cleaning objects and producing temporary displays and texts.

The museum is open daily during the term-time and is also open to the public, offering opportunities to engage with the local community.

Research placements

On our Academic Placement module, you'll work directly with an academic member of staff on their own research projects, between your first and second years of study.

You can also take part in our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) in your second year. Examples of past opportunities include digital modelling, curating online exhibitions, writing biographies and researching queer histories. 

Teaching experience

Students in Schools enables you to work alongside teachers in local schools with the aim of raising the aspirations of school pupils and encouraging them to continue into higher education.

We also encourage you to take an optional schools placement opportunity via a special module hosted by the University's Institute of Education.

Work experience scheme

In partnership with the University's Careers Service, we run a module that allows you to undertake a five-day placement in a relevant workplace.

Placements include time spent in museums, archives and similar Classics-related settings.

Professional placement year

Doing a Professional Placement Year will increase your confidence in the workplace and allow you to explore your career options before you graduate.

During your placement year you can choose from many countries worldwide, with previous students going to Australia, China, the US and Zambia.

Find out more about the Professional Placement Year

students in the ure museum

Life in the Department

You'll join our friendly, supportive community of students and academics. Attend fascinating talks on the latest research and make friends and socialise with the Classics Society.

Staff photo of Eleanor Dickey, Emma Aston and Christa Gray

Meet our expert academics

Our enthusiastic staff are leaders in their field, with extensive knowledge ranging from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity and beyond.


Rebecca's story

I knew I wanted to experience working in the heritage sector and so I took advantage of the many practical opportunities Reading offered in this field.

Rebecca MacRae

BA Ancient History graduate